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6 C’s for setting rules as a family

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The 6 C’s for setting rules as a family (and sticking to them!)

It is very difficult to set rules, either because we find ourselves too lax or too authoritarian.

In fact, we regularly oscillate from one to the other!

If the day has been good enough we are in the mood to give a few “free passes”, whereas if the next day is more difficult we suddenly become authoritarian dragons ready to spit flames at all costs!

So how do we go about it?

To try to establish a benevolent authority and therefore a benevolent framework, we can refer to the 6 Cs rule:


1- Clear: the rule must first of all be clear!

If I say “behave yourself” there will be many different interpretations. A “tidy” room according to my criteria may not correspond to your ideal!

So you will gain in efficiency by specifying and describing what you expect:

Don’t come back too late! becomes => I want you to be here at 10:00 pm!

2- Constant: the rule will not change according to your mood!

6 C's for setting rules as a family

The 6 C’s for setting rules in the family (and sticking to them!) Let’s not be psycho rigid, there can be exceptions! Let’s not be psychotically rigid, there can be exceptions, just be careful that they remain exceptions and that you don’t go overboard.

3- Consistent: the child learns essentially by imitation, paying attention to the example!

Since the discovery of mirror neurons, we have had confirmation that a large part of learning takes place through mimicry. Beware of counter-intuitive behaviour: it will be difficult to convince a teenager not to eat on the sofa if you are the first to do so! The same goes for brushing teeth with younger children!

4- Known in advance: remember the rules of the road!

How would you have guessed the meaning of the signs without learning? Remember, this learning was laborious, wasn’t it?
It is impossible to follow a rule that we do not know. It is essential, especially for young people, to repeat the rules before different events such as an outing, races…

5- Consequences: good or bad they must exist

I am not advocating punishment here, only that acts must have consequences, this is an integral part of learning and from a very young age!

It is also necessary to underline good actions, a respected rule can have beautiful consequences (I do not speak about reward either!).

6- Co-constructed: establish the rules together

We are more inclined to follow a rule that we have chosen than to obey something that is imposed on us.

Setting the rules together as a family allows everyone to find their place, to be creative.

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